Installation Of Lay-in Troffer Fluorescent Lights - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-15-2014, 10:17 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 24
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


I live in Ontario, and have just completed the wiring for my basement renovation, which includes a suspended ceiling. I have incorporated 2x4 lay-in troffer fluorescent lights into the gridwork. The manufacturer's instructions for the installation are to lay them into the grid, and bend the clips at each end of each fixture to anchor the lights to the grid rails. Then ensure that the grid is firmly suspended with anchor wires close to each corner of each light fixture.

I have followed these instructions to the letter, and now have a ceiling which is very solid, level and square, without any tendency to move or rattle.

Then the ESA inspector comes in, and tells me that the light fixtures need to be suspended directly from the floor joists above, as well as being laid into the suspended grid. And he fails the otherwise fully compliant installation on this basis. Never mind that I told him they were installed in the way they were designed for; never mind that I pointed out how solidly they were installed; he just said NO without giving a particular reason, and because I don't do this for a living made it difficult for me to argue. I haven't yet received any paperwork from ESA documenting this - I assume it will appear in the mail in due course.

The manufacturer of these (CSA approved) light fixtures makes no mention of the need to do this direct suspension - merely that they should be laid in the grid and clamped to it. There is no provision on the fixtures for such a direct suspension, so I would need to drill holes. And in general, the corners of the lights do not line up with the floor joists above. So to add in the additional suspension would require adding strapping between the joists above the grid at each corner of every light - and I have 14 such lights: a mountain of work! I really don't want to do this.

Am I correct in assuming that the inspector was wrong in putting this requirement on me? Is there any requirement in the Ontario Electrical Code to do this, and if so under what circumstances would it apply?

And if he is wrong, what is my most expedient way of getting this decision reversed?

If he is right, is there any way of getting this requirement softened?

Thanks for any advice.

Advertisement

macman44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 11:00 AM   #2
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,975
Rewards Points: 2,206
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


IMO one "suspends" the fixtures by the ceiling grid. Additional safety wires are installed from the holes on the fixture clips to to framing members of the structure. Should the grid work fail, the fixtures will not come crashing down as well.

Advertisement

brric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 11:01 AM   #3
JW
 
mm11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Maryland
Posts: 214
Rewards Points: 194
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


I'm in Maryland, not Canada...but with that being said, on every job I've ever been on, the lay in fixtures in a drop ceiling were required to be independently supported of the grid. The reasoning is that if firefighters rip down the drop ceiling, the lights will not come crashing down on their heads. For the last several years, I've had to hang independent ceiling wires just to attach MC cable to- I could not use the ceiling guys wires for any type of electrical support. I've always called those clips on the fixtures "hurricane clips". Some jobs speced that the clips needed to be attached- other jobs I didn't mess with the clips. The clips were always supplemental to the ceiling wire actually supporting the fixture. Good luck arguing with the inspector on this one
mm11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 12:00 PM   #4
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,994
Rewards Points: 2,786
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


I have a similar experience as MM. The lights may be mounted in accordance with the electric code, however the build code places additional requirements on the mounting and are the ones that call for the independent mounting support.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 02:51 PM   #5
Licensed Electrician
 
k_buz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 4,343
Rewards Points: 2,006
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


Not here. Lay the troffers in and screw them to the grid....done.
__________________
__________________________________________________ ______________
Answers based on the National Electric Code. Always check local amendments.


k_buz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 03:05 PM   #6
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,957
Rewards Points: 2,310
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
Not here. Lay the troffers in and screw them to the grid....done.
Same here.
I think some places requires the tie wires as well due to earthquakes.
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 04:36 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 1,114
Rewards Points: 1,344
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by macman44 View Post
I have followed these instructions to the letter, and now have a ceiling which is very solid, level and square, without any tendency to move or rattle.
The manufacturers instructions and your local building code are 2 different things. Do not assume one will automatically satisfy the other. An extreme example would be installing those lights in an earthquake zone. Satisfying the instructions only would not make them a safe lighting circumstance in case of an earth quake.

Different parts of the world have different code requirements to satisfy and the manufacturers instructions do not cover this.
Bob Sanders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2014, 04:50 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 27,732
Rewards Points: 580
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


I'd wonder is just self tapping screws in the fixture and simple chain attached to the joist would suffice.
I'm on a local volunteer fire dept. and we would have just lifted the ceiling panels, not ripped down the grids to check for hot spots.
To much of a chance for entrapment if you yank the whole grid down.
__________________
When posting in forums, letting us know your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions
joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2014, 11:41 AM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 24
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


Thanks for all those responses. It seems there is sufficient variety of replies to suggest that it could well be a requirement here in Ontario to provide additional direct suspension from above. But it's interesting that I couldn't find a reference to it in my copy of the Canadian Electrical Code, although it may be a recent addition.

I will obviously have to talk to the Electrical Safety Authority as to what they will accept, since my inspector wasn't forthcoming, and my main concern is to do it in such a way as to minimise the complexity of the rework. I would welcome any suggestions as to how this might be done, so that I can put forward some suggestions to them.

It looks like this is primarily required to provide a safety net for firefighters, such that the lamps don't come crashing down if the grid drops or is pulled. Does this mean that I can leave the grid supporting and positioning the lamps, and simply add safety wires or chains to arrest the fixture if it tends to drop? Or is it likely to be a requirement that the suspension from the structure above actually holds the lamps in place - but it would be very difficult to position them neatly in the grid in that case?

The suggestion of using chains attached close to the 4 corners could be the easiest to do, especially if it is allowable to have these chains angled to the closest floor joist (but could be quite a sharp angle in some places, since there isn't much clearance between the grid and the joists). After all, if the lamp drops I wouldn't have thought it has to be pretty, it merely has to remain close to the ceiling. What I want to avoid if at all possible is the need to put strapping between the joists at each corner of all 14 lamps, which is what I would have to do if the suspension has to be vertical.

If I can get some implementation thoughts from the community before I call ESA it would be much appreciated.
macman44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2014, 01:03 PM   #10
Member
 
PoleCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 1,549
Rewards Points: 780
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


When its all said and done the inspector is right. (whether he is or not) They were not required to be separately anchored here years ago but I would think that they are by now. I have had them fall out on my head while on top of an 8' ladder so I understand the concern.
__________________
"Ask me anything. If I don't know the answer I'll make something up."
PoleCat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2014, 03:54 PM   #11
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,994
Rewards Points: 2,786
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


Being secured on opposite corners is all that is normally required.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Jim Port For This Useful Post:
stickboy1375 (05-19-2014)
Old 05-19-2014, 03:48 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 24
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


Apparently Ontario Electrical Safety Code Bulletin 30-4-* (Latest version 30-4-11) "Installation of luminaires in suspended ceilings" gives details of how it should be done here. I can't find a way of getting an online copy of this without signing up (and paying for) for a subscription service, which I don't need other than for this.

Does anybody have a copy of this bulletin that they can forward or point me to?

Thanks.
macman44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2014, 05:45 PM   #13
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,162
Rewards Points: 2,116
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Same here.
I think some places requires the tie wires as well due to earthquakes.
I always thought independent support was due to the safety of Fire personal, and the grid not being rated to support the weight of fixtures.

Kind of like supporting an old work box off sheetrock alone, sure we all do it, but what exactly is the holding weight of sheetrock, and is it even rated for that application?
stickboy1375 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to stickboy1375 For This Useful Post:
HARRY304E (05-30-2014)
Old 05-27-2014, 05:47 PM   #14
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 24
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


Although it's not spelled out in the Ontario Electrical Code, there is a Bulletin out which calls for the additional support. I had to put two supporting chains, one at each end or in opposite corners, such that if the grid fails the troffers would not fall down.

Pity these things aren't properly spelled out in the code, because they will get you every time unless you are in the know.
macman44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2014, 04:51 PM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Installation of lay-in troffer fluorescent lights


Ontario California or canada?

Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk

Advertisement

kennydta is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
inspection , installation , lay-in troffer


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Troubleshooting Fluorescent lights Servicewiz Electrical 5 07-11-2012 09:49 AM
Kitchen fluorescent to LED recessed lighting changeout speedytahiti Electrical 1 01-05-2012 08:04 PM
Need info on replacing 8 recessed lights in bathroom OhmZoned Electrical 1 11-07-2011 01:35 PM
trying to replace fluorescent lights with newer lighting tech MLMIB Electrical 5 10-16-2011 02:50 PM
3 way switching & fluorescent lights jjapogee Electrical 11 09-07-2010 08:33 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts